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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysNursing home neglect and abuse are sadly common in many nursing homes across the United States. Nursing homes are often badly understaffed or employ staff members who have not been properly trained for their job duties. Even worse, some nursing home staff intentionally take their frustrations out on residents. Many of these residents have physical and mental health problems that leave them unable to stand up for themselves. Residents instead must depend on concerned loved ones to advocate on their behalf.

Threatening or Intentionally Scaring Residents

Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other illness that affect an individual’s ability to understand what is going on around them are prevalent in nursing homes. Unfortunately, these illnesses can turn a mild mannered, sweet grandmother or grandfather into someone who is hostile or downright mean. Properly trained staff members should know that when a resident with mental decline is rude or uncooperative, it is the illness speaking and such behavior is not reflective of the resident’s true nature. However, some nursing home workers instead respond combatively to residents who are simply afraid or confused. Threatening, intimidating, or yelling at a nursing home resident is just one example of unacceptable nursing home abuse.  

Ridiculing or Mocking a Resident

Nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Sadly, some nursing home staff use this as an opportunity to bully residents instead of offering the compassionate care they should. In December 2018, a Snapchat video surfaced that showed Illinois nursing home workers mocking a 91 year-old nursing home resident who suffers from dementia. The two staff members were arrested and a lawsuit was brought against the facility for violating both the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. Signs that a loved one is being emotionally abused can include significant changes in the resident’s demeanor, childlike behaviors such as thumb sucking or rocking back and forth, and staff members refusing to let you be alone with your loved one.

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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysImagine you are a resident in a nursing home. Perhaps you are recovering from an invasive surgery, have had limbs amputated, or are elderly and suffering from other ailments. Now imagine that the place you have called home during your recovery no longer welcomes you and you are forced to pack your things and leave. This is the reality for many nursing home residents who are evicted from nursing homes every year. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents and their families are unaware of the rights which residents have.

Changes in Insurance Leave Some Residents Unable to Pay Nursing Home Costs

About 14 million people are currently living in nursing homes across the country. Many of these residents are ill or injured and others have mental incapacities such as dementia with disallow them to care for themselves. These individuals require round-the-clock care and supervision. Unfortunately, nursing homes often evict residents for unjustified reasons. Sometimes, it is because a change in insurance, such as switching from Medicare to Medicaid, means that the resident can no longer afford to stay at the nursing home. Discharges and evictions have been the top-ranking category of grievances brought to state long-term care regulators programs in recent years. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents are unaware of their rights and leave without challenging an eviction or discharge.

Tony Chicotel, a lawyer at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, explains “The nursing homes, they know the system and they really game it to where they maximize their advantage.” Federal regulators are now looking for ways to enforce federal laws which protect nursing home residents. Evictions or discharges can greatly damage a resident’s well-being. Because nursing home residents are already ill or elderly, moving them against their will can be dangerous to their physical health as well as their psychological health.

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